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MTSU student leaders raise funds, awareness for Flint water crisis

The Flint, Michigan, water crisis has dominated national headlines in recent weeks as organizations across the nation have banded together to aid in relief efforts for the city.

MTSU’s Student Government Association joined the effort this week through a partnership with the United Way to raise donations to supply bottled water for Flint residents.

From left, Student Government Association senators Colton Anderson, Brandi Holt and Marthony Sanders took donations and passed out pamphlets about the Flint, Mich., water crisis recently during an awareness event held in the lobby of the Student Union Building. Donations will be given to the local United Way to purchase bottled water for Flint residents. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

MTSU Student Government Association senators Colton Anderson, left, Brandi Holt and Marthony Sanders take donations and pass out pamphlets about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis Feb. 3 during an awareness event held in the lobby of the Student Union Building. Donations will be given to the local United Way to purchase bottled water for Flint residents. (MTSU photos by Steven Michael Johnson)

The organization set up a small table in the lobby of the Student Union Building and stationed members there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 3 and 4.

SGA official sealFor the past year, Flint residents have been plagued with a water supply containing hazardous levels of lead and government officials stuck in a cycle of finger-pointing.

SGA senators cited the simple desire to provide aid as their reason for setting up the donation and relief events.

“Our goal is to obviously help anybody that we can and because this is something we can help with, of course we decided that we needed to do this,” said SGA senator Colton Anderson.

“The goal of SGA is always to help anyone we can.”

Anderson said the organization didn’t have a set goal for the amount of donations throughout the two-day event but was proud of any amount of money the members could raise.

Members of the Student Government Association passed out pamphlets about the Flint, Mich., water crisis recently during an awareness event held in the lobby of the Student Union Building. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

SGA senators passed out pamphlets about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis recently during an awareness event in the lobby of the Student Union Building.

“Our goal is just to raise whatever amount of money we can and just do the best with whatever amount we receive from the university,” he added.

Students gradually flocked over to the table and left cash donations for the relief effort. Each donor was rewarded with an SGA pin and also received an informational packet detailing how and why the SGA planned to help out.

MTSU student Jasmine McCraven added that the organization’s efforts have created a sense of pride within her and her peers on campus.

“I just think it’s really amazing to see all the philanthropists and celebrities aid the city, and now, for us to join in, I think it’s pretty cool,” she said.

“I’m really curious to see how much money they’ll be able to raise, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to donate and help.”

SGA senator Marthony Sanders noted that this was merely the first step in their plan to help the city.

“The fundraising turned out pretty good. I don’t have the exact amount we raised on Wednesday and Thursday but we were definitely pleased,” Sanders added. “I know we’re still looking for more ways to have people get involved in giving back heading into next week.”

— Steven Michael Johnson (news@mtsu.edu)